Rockstar Co-Founder Doesn't Want Your Respect

Rockstar Co-Founder Doesn't Want Your Respect

image

In a wide-ranging interview with the Telegraph, Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser talked about the darker tone of Grand Theft Auto IV and why he thinks there are more important things in the world than respect.

The darker tone in Grand Theft Auto IV, Houser said, was actually dictated by the game's vastly improved visuals. "We always try to get the tone of the story and tone of the graphics to feel seamless," he said. "We're trying to make a world that feels like it exists. And the old graphics were far more cartoony because that was all we could do, so the story and the writing needed to be as well." Whether the series will continue in that vein is up in the air, he added, saying it's a "horses for courses approach."

And while he agreed the game is a "sprawling criminal journey," he said he no longer believes that the ultimate goal of videogames is to emulate movies. "There was a sense that in some ways movies were a higher art form and video games could aspire to be like them," he said. "I think now, because we and a few other companies are making products, that this isn't the case. They're just different and video games are capable of things that movies aren't."

So when can videogames expect to be treated by society at large with the same degree of respect as movies and television? "I hope it's a long [time]," Houser said. "It's really fun at the moment because we're not in any Academy and the medium's not codified. There's no accepted way of doing anything so that give us enormous pleasure because we can make it up as we go along."

"Movies and TV and books have become so structured in the way they have to approach things," he continued. "Not working in that environment gives us enormous freedom. I'd rather keep the freedom and not have the respect."

via: GamesIndustry

Permalink

Wow, I didn't know Hollywood was prevented from being creative because people respect it. I thought it was just uncreative producers and directors. And, of course, there is no set way of making any games in a specific genre. :rolleyes:

...Yeah, that's not true :/

Books and movies aren't any more "structured" than games are.

Damn you, mildly misleading headlines!

I thought he was smarter than that.

Of course the game industry is codified, structured, and restricted.

Didn't they try putting an AO game on the consoles? Caused a bunch of problems if I remember correctly.

It would be great if it were true and they had the freedom to do whatever they want; but they don't.

GonzoGamer:
It would be great if it were true and they had the freedom to do whatever they want; but they don't.

Compared to most developers they have a hell of a lot of freedom. Considering the shit they've (Housers) had to put up with over the years it's amazing they still want to be a part of the industry at all. Not that this makes GTA4 a great game, but at least his POV is refreshing.

harhol:

GonzoGamer:
It would be great if it were true and they had the freedom to do whatever they want; but they don't.

Compared to most developers they have a hell of a lot of freedom. Considering the shit they've (Housers) had to put up with over the years it's amazing they still want to be a part of the industry at all. Not that this makes GTA4 a great game, but at least his POV is refreshing.

How so?
I actually got the feeling he was subconsciously in denial; though I've only read the edited blurbs from the interview, not the whole thing.

Every media outlet is codified, I can't believe someone in the games industry things actually believes differently...

GonzoGamer:

harhol:

GonzoGamer:
It would be great if it were true and they had the freedom to do whatever they want; but they don't.

Compared to most developers they have a hell of a lot of freedom.

How so?

Well they publish their own games for a start. Rockstar North make GTA and then Rockstar Games publish it. I'd imagine it allows for a greater level of creative freedom than if EA or Activision or Ubisoft were the publisher. You could argue that Rockstar Games is nothing more than a subsidiary of Take Two, but given how much of Take Two's yearly income is dependent upon GTA, my guess is that it's Rockstar who are really in control. Rockstar have also accumulated absurd volumes of cash over the past decade, allowing for unnecessary vanity projects like Table Tennis and Manhunt 2. They could probably survive through a couple of disasters, unlike most companies in the industry today.

Was the article's misleading title really necessary? I sort of see you were joking, or atleast not being literal, but still, I clicked on this thread expecting to hear that Dan Houser had become some sort of rich arrogant bastard who doesn't care about the consumers who love him so and allowed him to reach the success he has.

Besides, I just respect Mr. Houser even more for focusing on making good games and not worrying about pleasing people in every single way, and also for recognizing that games are (or atleast should be as soon as more people start recognizing it) equal to movies and other forms of entertainment.

harhol:

GonzoGamer:

harhol:

GonzoGamer:
It would be great if it were true and they had the freedom to do whatever they want; but they don't.

Compared to most developers they have a hell of a lot of freedom.

How so?

Well they publish their own games for a start. Rockstar North make GTA and then Rockstar Games publish it. I'd imagine it allows for a greater level of creative freedom than if EA or Activision or Ubisoft were the publisher. You could argue that Rockstar Games is nothing more than a subsidiary of Take Two, but given how much of Take Two's yearly income is dependent upon GTA, my guess is that it's Rockstar who are really in control. Rockstar have also accumulated absurd volumes of cash over the past decade, allowing for unnecessary vanity projects like Table Tennis and Manhunt 2. They could probably survive through a couple of disasters, unlike most companies in the industry today.

No doubt they could survive quite a bit (why EA wanted & couldn't get them) but (and you said so yourself) alot of that stems from their successes, mostly with GTA.

If that franchise started to flop or become overshadowed by another (say Saints Row), I bet T2 would start reigning them in pretty quickly.

So yes. Right now R* can push the envelope as far as it can be pushed. I'm saying that there's a limit to haw far it can be pushed (on the consoles at least: no AO) and it sounds like Houser is in denial of that even after having first hand experience.

Yes I'm certainly glad they don't have the restrictions that were put on the comic book industry at the height of that paranoia but I think they would've had the ESRB not been formed.

GonzoGamer:
I'm saying that there's a limit to haw far it can be pushed (on the consoles at least: no AO) and it sounds like Houser is in denial of that even after having first hand experience.

Yeah, good point.

No wonder GTA4 was such a downgrade from its predecessors.

Sylocat:
No wonder GTA4 was such a downgrade from its predecessors.

Actually, in my opinion at least, it was trying to inject realism into a game series that was fun because of how unrealistic it was.

That sucks, but oh well, at least the quote wasn't taken out of context.

Wait...

thebobmaster:

Sylocat:
No wonder GTA4 was such a downgrade from its predecessors.

Actually, in my opinion at least, it was trying to inject realism into a game series that was fun because of how unrealistic it was.

Exactly, which is a side effect of this kind of mentality.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here